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Articles Posted in Family Medical Leave Act

In Tennessee and across the United States when employees need to take a leave to care for a loved one or a child they should be allowed to do so under the Family Medical Leave Act without fear of facing harsh treatment or being fired after returning from the leave. However, in some situations employees are still fired after taking this leave or they face unfair treatment upon their return. If you or someone you love feels like your Family Medical Leave Act rights have not be upheld, then you should speak with a Tennessee employment FMLA lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you get the compensation that is rightfully yours for what you have been through.

According to this lawsuit, Tomeka White, a black female, was employed by the Department of Aging and Disability Services from June 2009 to October 2010. White’s son suffers from autism and White had asked for intermittent leave so she would be able to take her son to and from his doctor’s visits. According to White, she was allowed to take her son to his therapy early on in her career. Based on information from the lawsuit, White’s supervisor stopped allowing her this privilege after White wrote a “less than positive” elevation about her supervisor’s management style which including racial discrimination allegations.

White asked for intermittent FMLA leave in August of 2010 to take her son to and from his therapy. The human resource manager for her employer turned down her request stating that it was not believed autism was covered under FMLA. White was fired by her employer on November 18th due to ongoing request for intermittent FMLA leave.

White’s employer is accused of violating the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as White’s civil rights. White is seeking an award for actual damages including lost income and health benefits as well as liquidated damages, attorney fees, punitive damages and interest.
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Tennessee workers and workers all across the United States have emergencies and situations that come up with their health or the health of their family members. During these times, many workers request Family Medical Leave. Most of the time, these employees expect that when they return to work after their leave, they will still have their job and be able to get back to work. Unfortunately, sometimes, this is not always the case. If you or someone you care about took Family Medical Leave and then think you were discriminated against or fired unfairly, then you should contact a Tennessee employment and FMLA lawyer right away. They will review your case and work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

In this case, two employees and one former employee who were all related filed a federal lawsuit against city officials alleging that the officials retaliated against them for taking Family Medical Leave under Family Medical Leave Act. According to the lawsuit, city electric department employees Edward Poindexter and Bobby Poindexter, and Margaret D. Poindexter filed this lawsuit because they claim that they were overlooked for promotions to a crew leader position because they took family medical leave when their mother needed to have hip surgery on March 11, 2010. Also, according to the lawsuit, both brothers were qualified for the promotion.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that City Manager Bill Baker and City Clerk Dianna Davis criticized them in public and accused them of abusing the Family Medical Leave Act. The lawsuit is also alleging retaliation against Margaret D. Poindexter because the city clerk demoted her when and transferred her to another department, and then she experienced a hostile work environment. The lawsuit is seeking that her resignation should be considered a constructive discharge due to the working environment. It also seeks a jury trial for lost wages, bonus, employment benefits and attorney fees.
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Tennessee workers and workers throughout the United States sometimes need to take time off due to their own illness or injury or an illness or injury of a loved one. Many workers depend on being able to take medical leave and still having their job after they return from that leave. Unfortunately, in some cases when people go on medical leave, their position may disappear and they may not be able to return to work. However, if you feel that you or someone you know has been discriminated against after taking medical leave, then you should speak to an ADA and employment lawyer right away. They will hear your case and make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

According to this lawsuit, Nicole Sullivan started working for the Soho Apple store in 2008. Then in April 2009, she took a medical leave of absence for a nervous disorder, seeking the help of a psychiatrist. She was given disability leave through a company independent of the Soho Apple store and was told that details of her medical condition would not be released to Apple. However, when Sullivan returned to work in August of 2009, she stated that, “it was obvious to her that the store’s employees, and especially its human resources director, were aware of her medical condition.”

Also, according to the lawsuit in Sullivan’s four month absence her job was replaced and she was told that she would remain in a “holding pattern” until her paperwork was found. The lawsuit claims that she was sent to a room in a store’s basement and sat at a vacant desk. “Days went by when she was not assigned a job even after being asked to be assigned to one and some days she had nothing to do.” Sullivan applied for many jobs within the store including a “Genius” position but was told that she had been denied because there were questions about her mental stability.

The lawsuit claims Apple acted in a manner that was of “malice and reckless indifference” to Sullivan’s rights. The lawsuit also claims that Sullivan was denied positions at the Apple store due to a “perceived disability” but Sullivan claims to being cleared by a psychiatrist and was not mentally ill. Sullivan suffered” emotional distress, humiliation and embarrassment” due to the Actions of Apple.

The lawsuit is seeking back pay, front pay, employment benefits and other compensation that had been denied or lost. Sullivan, according to the lawsuit, is also seeking $300,000 in punitive damages for discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Illness is a difficult thing to face, especially if it involves chemotherapy treatments, surgeries and large amounts of pain. The illness and suffering that comes with cancer is difficult enough without having your employer harass you about how many days you are taking off work, or even fire you because of the cancer. Unfortunately even though it is against several laws to do so, this kind of treatment happens to many people across the country and even right here to many Tennessee residents. If you have been treated unfairly or harassed due to an illness, you should contact a Tennessee employment lawyer right away about your case. They will help to make sure you get the treatment you deserve.

Kara Jorud, who worked at Michael’s Arts and Crafts store in Boca Raton returned to work after a double mastectomy and chemotherapy in August of 2008, only to face harsh questions and harassment from her boss Skip Sand, such as asking her “How often do you have to do this?” and “You will be here Monday after chemo,” as well calling her daily to find out when she planned to return to work. This harassment continued and led to her ultimately being fired.

A jury found on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, that this violated several federal employment laws and ordered Sands and the Texas-based arts and crafts store to pay $8.1 million to Jorud for pain and suffering and for discriminating against an employee who has cancer. Her attorneys, Brian McPherson and Joseph Curley, say she is also entitled to $1 million in lost wages for in the past and future. Finally, because the jury found that the company acted with “malice and reckless indifference” the judge could increase the lost wages amount she may be entitled to.

Jorud said,” My whole goal in this thing is to make sure no one has to go through this. This just shouldn’t happen in this day and age. Cancer is hard enough without the extras. With the extras, it’s just impossible.”
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Tennessee workers and workers all across the country work hard to support themselves and their families each and every day. Sometimes however, situations come up where a worker needs to stay at home for an extended period of time to care for a sick loved one. This is when the Family Medical Leave Act usually allows a worker to do so. Unfortunately, though there are times when employers violate the rules of the Family Medical Leave Act and as a result the employee and their family usually suffer. If you feel that your FMLA rights have been violated, then you be entitled to compensation and should contact a Tennessee FMLA lawyer right away to help you.
In this case, Mary Zanakis, a reporter for KHON-TV claimed that her news director, Jim McCoy and their station manager at the time of the incident, Kent Baker, violated her FMLA rights by demoting her after she went on maternity leave in December of 1998. According to FMLA, a worker is entitled to return to his or her same position when returning from leave, unless the employer can show a reason why holding the position open would pose a hardship for the company or its workers.
Baker and McCoy denied this claim and stated that Zanakis position as reporter and producer of the medical segment of the station’s morning news show had been eliminated during her leave. They also claim that her termination in June of 1999 was a result of budget cuts being made and the quality of her work declining.
A federal court jury however, agreed with Zanakis and awarded her $87,000 in damages. Zanakis also wanted $770,000 more for wages she would have earned if she had continued to work at that station. However, a federal judge said she was not entitled to this amount because she had accepted another job with KITV for $45,000 a year in February of 2000. The judge however noted that Zanakis did apply to any other Honolulu TV stations and the salary she accepted at KITV was simply a result of her value in the news reporter market.
The judge also found that McCoy and Baker had “reasonable grounds for believing that their decision was not a violation of Family Medical Leave Act”.
The lawyers for both sides then agreed on a settlement amount of $175,000 which includes attorney fees.
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For one Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC employee one of the happiest times of her life rapidly turned into an employment nightmare. After a pregnancy related health issue, she was encouraged to resign her position as a recruiter for Hilton in Orlando, Florida. Having been assured she’d be rehired after the baby was born, she agreed. In fact, what really happened when she reapplied for open positions in the company was less qualified people were hired to fill the jobs she was trying to get.

The EEOC filed a suit on her behalf and was successful. In addition to paying the victim $25,000 in monetary damages, Hilton must submit any charges of sex or pregnancy discrimination to the EEOC for monitoring, must post the outcome of the suit and conduct discrimination training.

EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Michael O’Brien stated, “Women who have complications with their pregnancies need to be treated the same as any other employee with a medical condition. Employers must not make employment decisions on the basis of stereo types.”

“Employers must take firm steps to assure that they act in accordance with the law when making employment decisions. The law requires that pregnant women, and women returning to work after childbirth, are afforded the same rights as any other employee,” added EEOC Acting Prosecutor.
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Some times in our lives especially as parents or legal guardians or even caregivers for children, we need to take time off of work to care for sick or severely ill loved ones because they cannot do so by themselves. This happens to Tennessee workers as well as workers across the country. This is why the Family Medical Leave Act was created to allow qualified employees to take time off up to twelve weeks without fear of losing their jobs. If you or someone you care about feel you qualify for this time, but are denied the leave, you may want to consider contacting a Tennessee FMLA Attorney right away. They will help you get the time you need for yourself and your loved ones.

The Family Medical Leave Act also allows certain employees leave if they are standing in place of a parent or guardian. In these cases, the caregiver and child do not have to be biologically related. Previously, these cases had to be that the caregiver provided day to day care and supported the child financially. However, now, only one or the other has to hold true for an employee to qualify for leave.

This interpretation of the act will lead more people to be able to qualify for this leave. This also means that employers will have to be more careful about how they handle employees who do not have a traditional parent-child situation and decide whether or not they will qualify for the leave. An employer can require “reasonable documentation” of the family relationship but the employer should still be careful so they can avoid being accused of denying leave for an employee.
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